Views 17 Oct Day Trips from Buenos Aires: Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay
 |  Category: Must-see Travel Destinations

A nice day trip option for those that need to renew their tourist visa is to cross the ‘Río de la Plata’ by ferry and visit the city of Colonia – the oldest city in Uruguay!

Founded in 1680 by the Portuguese, the colony of Colonia was heavily contested by the Spanish who settled on the opposite bank of the river at Buenos Aires. Through Colonia, people were able to avoid the strict taxes imposed by the Spanish crown so for years Colonia was an important center for smuggling British goods across the Río de la Plata into the Spanish colonies. It is now an attractive and quiet place with a nice historic center and beaches that are well worth a visit.

Colonia is full of old-fashioned cars and motorcycles, and the ‘Uruguayos’ seem to carry their ‘termo’ and drink ‘mate’ constantly. Although the city transferred hands between the Portuguese and Spanish, Portuguese influence can still be found in several parts of the city, and taking the time to visit these historic sites is a must.

Day Trips from Buenos Aires: Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

Getting There
For those interested in visiting Colonia, the ferry company ‘Buquebus’ will take you across the river in only three hours. You can visit the peaceful, cozy colonial city of Colonia and return to Argentina on the same day. Or, perhaps you want to spend more time in the city so you can stay the night in Uruguay and return the next day. A third option is to head to Montevideo or Punta del Este after visiting Colonia. Buquebus organizes several daytrips (a day’s program is listed below), including city tours (by bus or on foot), lunch and a visit to an ‘Estancia’, a large rural ranch.

The price of a basic daytrip is around 190 pesos (US$ 65 approximately). Tickets can be bought at the terminal of Buquebús at Avenida Antártida Argentina no. 821. (Colectivos 22 and 140, Subte B, phone numbers 43166500, 43166550), and also at the following selling points:

Posadas 1452 (Recoleta)

Avenida Córdoba 879 (Microcentro)

(www.buquebus.com, receptivobue@buquebus.com)

The price of a round trip boat ticket is approximately 175 pesos per person.

* Please note that rates charged Monday – Friday may be different from prices charged during weekends. There is a tourist class, first class and special first class so ask for the different rates. Also, if you buy a package including lunch and a tour, drinks and tips/service charge are not included.

Day Trips from Buenos Aires: Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

Buquebus Day Trip Program
The program of a standard day trip including lunch and city tour is as follows:

  • 8:00: Check in and passport control at the Buquebus terminal / port.
  • 9:00: Departure (Breakfast is not included but can be bought on board).
  • 12:00: Arrival in Colonia, transfer by bus to the restaurant.
  • 13:00: Lunch (drinks, tips and service charge not included).
  • 14:15: Walking tour in the center of Colonia (you will visit the historical center, the ‘Puerta de la ciudadela’, the lighthouse, and the ruins of the Convent of San Francisco), and will be able to appreciate narrow and quiet streets and picturesque houses.
  • 15:30: Bus tour to the ‘Plaza de toros’ and some of Colonia’s most beautiful beaches, right outside the city center.
  • 16:30: Free time. You can visit one of the museums (although most of them close at 16:45) or one of the many souvenir and handicraft shops (typical souvenirs are leather, ‘mates’ and ‘alfajores’). It is also possible to rent bikes or motorcycles.
  • 17:30: Transfer back to the ferry terminal.
  • 18:45: Departure from Colonia.
  • 21:45: Arrival in Buenos Aires.

On board there is a tax-free shop, and there are two bars that sell drinks and snacks. A live music presentation will be given as well, and you can stay inside or go outside to the upper deck. Both Uruguayan and Argentine pesos are accepted in Colonia, as well as US dollars.

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